Accreditation commission designates UK as one of 63 comprehensive stroke centers

The Joint Commission for accredting health-care organizations, the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association have designated UK HealthCare a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The university’s medical center joins 63 other institutions with the designation.

The certification is bestowed upon hospitals with not only state-of-the-art infrastructures and 24/7 availability of special treatment but also dedicated staff with the education and experience to help patients who suffered from complex strokes. “We are justifiably proud of the many people at UK HealthCare whose expertise and commitment to quality of care earned us this designation,” said Dr. Michael Karpf, UK’s executive vice president for health.

Traci Beasley, a 35-year-old elementary math teacher and mother of two, had a stroke in 2012 and was airlifted to UK, where she received the kind of care and treatment that earned the institution the designation. “Mrs. Beasley’s condition required immediate intervention, and the particulars of her case led us to use an older but less commonly employed approach to prevent aneurysm from re-rupturing,” said Dr. Justin Fraser, who led the team that treated Beasley.

A UK press release says, “In the hospital’s state-of-the-art hybrid OR, the only one of its kind in the region, he used a microscope to deploy a tiny metal clip that sealed off the aneurysm.” While caregivers watched for any subsequent problems, Beasley went to the angiography suite to correct her cerebral vasospasm, a condition that restricts blood supply to brain tissue as a result of narrowing arteries. Soon after, she returned home.

Fraser said the stroke center designation is a result of teamwork and collaboration: “Weakness in an arm or speech problems . . . are obvious neurological deficits caused by a stroke, but our goal is to achieve a more elegant solution. Can the patient balance their checkbook? Can they follow a list at the grocery store? Can they return to work and a normal life? That’s why we’re here.”

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